GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories- The UN Security Council called for an “immediate ceasefire” as Israel pressed on with a blistering assault on Gaza on Monday taking the Palestinian death toll above 500.
US President Barack Obama echoed the call in a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu early Monday, as Secretary of State John Kerry headed to the region to join true efforts.
A fresh air strike on Monday morning killed a family of nine, including seven children, after a weekend of incessant shelling by land, sea and air sent thousands of terrified civilians fleeing their homes.
A man was also killed in a strike on a motorbike, taking the Palestinian death toll to 502 as the Israeli offensive entered its 14th day, medics said.
The Israeli army said 13 soldiers had been killed inside Gaza on Sunday, raising to 18 the number of soldiers killed since a ground operation began late on Thursday.
Gaza’s emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said many of the more than 150 Palestinians killed on Sunday — the bloodiest day of fighting in Gaza in years — were women and children.
The Security Council held urgent talks on the conflict, expressing “serious concern about the growing numbers of casualties.”
“The members of the Security Council call for an immediate cessation of hostilities,” said Rwandan ambassador Eugene Richard Gasana, whose country chairs the 15-member council.